The Boost From Below: How Dominated Options Increase Choice Satisfaction



Previous research shows that increasing choice set size can sometimes reduce choice/purchase likelihood and satisfaction, while adding asymmetrically dominated options alters choice patterns. In this paper, we explore the impact of adding fully dominated options to choice sets (i.e., options that are worse on every dimension). Across 4 studies, we find that adding dominated options to choice sets increases satisfaction with, and willingness to pay for, chosen options, without affecting the actual choice patterns. We also show that participants are not aware of this effect. We present a process-level theory to explain our findings.

Contact information:
Dr. G. Liberali